SKI-IN/SKI-OUT properties have their obvious perks, but residences on the outskirts of Hirafu are proving a popular choice for city dwellers.
THERE are several types of property available in this area given Niseko’s relatively early stage of development. Investors can choose from studio apartments right next to the ski hill, spacious houses in the lower village, quaint cottages and blocks of land a little further afield. And whilst the luxury of skiing into your apartment is idealistic, many investors are searching for a year-round getaway with more space, quieter surroundings and room for the kids.
Located in what is classed as the ‘South Village’, Country Resort is one of Niseko’s quiet achievers. Last summer, five new houses were built, ranging from two-bedroom chalets to five-bedroom custom designs. “One of the first things that gets mentioned about Country Resort is the space. The kids can wander the grounds, play in the snow in winter, dig a flowerbed in summer and get around on bikes. You don’t have the noise of the village, your curtains can be wide open and the only thing peering in is a curious fox; you can leave your door unlocked and know that it’s perfectly fine.” Says Stu Cady, Country Resort manager.
One of Country Resort’s closest neighbours – about one kilometer away – is The Escarpment. Closer to the village, The Escarpment developers are noticing a change in the purpose of investment of clients. “Short-term capital gains and high-rental returns were associated with emerging demand for ownership, limited supply and are effectively the reward for early adoption and the ‘risk’ element of the investment. People want a unique and special place to share in the destination’s long-term future.” Says Julian Bailey, Hokkaido Tracks Resort Development.
Both Country Resort and The Escarpment offer flexible home and land packages, however, there is also plenty of room in Niseko to buy your own land close to Hanazono, Moiwa, and Annupuri and build a dream home.
Michael Davenport of Niseko Consulting has noticed more enquiries for ‘lifestyle blocks’ with privacy, views, rivers and plenty of space. “People are realising that the same amount of money goes a lot further as soon as you leave the close proximity of the ski hills. The largest benefit is the price point – land can be up to 100 times cheaper outside of the village, which means money goes much further: views, space, privacy, rivers, etc. After one visit to Niseko, many visitors realise the benefit of renting or owning a vehicle which makes a short drive to this kind of land much less hassle. As the ski hills become more developed, the demand for
spacious blocks nearby will grow, which also offers excellent capital gains potential.”
Location, price points, usability and privacy are seemingly the most obvious reasons for owning a property/land outside of the village area. Building a house from scratch where you can specify the number of rooms, how large or small they are, the location of each room, the materials that will be used will help you realise your ‘lifestyle investment’. The drawback is the waiting period, construction period and renting/buying a car, which can be outweighed easily by your investment purpose – quick ski-in/ski-out breaks, or lengthier long-term stays.